Kevin O'Toole | "We’re Excited For the Challenge.” 

O'toole piece

NYCFC are excited for the challenge ahead in their remaining two games according to Kevin O'Toole. 

O'Toole, 24, has seen a return to the starting XI of late and helped the team record some positive results as they chase down a playoff spot.

The Boys in Blue are currently two points below the line with games against D.C. United and Chicago Fire left to play. Speaking ahead of the trip to Washington D.C., O'Toole revealed the team is excited by the challenge ahead.

"I think we're confident in our performances lately," he said.

"We've taken seven points from the last three games. The team feels like we're in a really good spot in terms of performance and results.

"I think with the two fixtures we have left it's a really good opportunity for us to take those three points because they're two teams that are chasing us as well.

"The pressure is on and I think we're embracing it. The opportunity is there for us. Six weeks ago if you put us in this position, I think we all would have taken it as a group.

"I think we're excited for the challenge and I'm looking forward to the game."

O'Toole has been an important part of the team's recent success, with NYCFC's defensive record seeing them concede just two times in the last six games.

Reflecting on that form, the defender believes a front-foot mentality has helped the group.

"I think we've done a good job of pressing up the field," he said.

"I think you can kind of see the commitment from the backline and also the front four to really press the ball up the field and create turnovers in their half.

"I think that's kind of given us an edge defending in our offensive half has been really helpful in keeping clean sheets and keeping teams from scoring from the run of play.

"I think it's just that same mentality in these last couple of games is to make sure we're on the front foot and we're pressing hard. We need to be doing that in order to score goals too so it kind of goes hand in hand."

The defender has patiently waited for opportunities in the starting XI this season and has made the most of his chance in recent weeks.

It was a similar story for O'Toole in 2022, and he believes last season helped prepare him to step in when called upon.

"I mean, I think last year kind of prepared me for that," he said.

"Honestly, we were in some important games last year and my first game was a final. That was obviously a must-win game from our perspective.

"The last few games of last season we didn't have our playoff spot cemented so they were all really important games to take points on the road at Atlanta and points at home against Orlando in a comeback win.

"The stakes are a little bit different this year but last year it was also really important to get those points. Personally, nothing really changes.

"I think playing some big games down the stretch last year that I think prepared me for this year. I'm excited to be in this position. I think we all want to play in these games because they're so important."

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